In last week's blog I said this:
I've learned strategies to keep the focus on me and play my game so perfection and control don't take away my magic.
Let's talk about perfectionism.
I want you to have a better understanding of what it is so you can spot it and work with it and come home to yourself.
Perfectionism is a defensive move that is about trying to earn approval. - Brene Brown
You can dress it up as striving for excellence, being a high-achiever, being detail-oriented etc. It's not.
Perfectionism is a common form of armor we put on unconsciously when we feel vulnerable.
We don't want to feel uneasy and uncertain so we opt for trying to please, perform, perfect and prove to gain the approval we're so desperately seeking.
It's very normal yet it in the process we abandon ourselves.
Wherever perfectionism is driving us, shame is riding shotgun.
Here is an excerpt from Dare to Lead by Brene Brown sharing what perfectionism is not:
1. Perfectionism is not the self-protection we think it is. It is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around, thinking it will protect us, when in fact it's the thing that's really preventing us from being seen.
2. Most perfectionists grew up being praised for achievement and performance (grades, manners, rule following, people pleasing, appearance, sports). Somewhere along the way, they adopted this dangerous and debilitating belief system: I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it. Healthy Striving is self-focused: How can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused: What will people think? Perfectionism is a hustle.
3. Perfectionism hampers achievement. It is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis, or missed opportunities
I thought my perfectionism was being neat and tidy, organized, and prepared. Sure, I want other people to think well of me, and I didn't realize that my sense of self was dependent on them thinking that way.
If perfectionism is other-focused: What will people think?, it seems that the question I hold most dear, What do I think?, falls squarely in the camp of healthy striving.
What a joy to see my own findings tee up with that of Brene's!
If you want to know where perfectionism is showing up in your life, notice the moments when you're worried about what other people think of you. Then, with grace, come back to yourself and ask yourself, What do I think?
Be your best home,
p.s. please forward this to a friend who wants to set down her twenty-ton shield.